In Search of Hope…

In Search of Hope —

Hope – I’ve been seeing this word a lot over the last few days. Christians referencing the hope of Christmas, sages writing of hope and the new year. Don’t give up, they say. Keep hope in your heart. Things will get better.

And so I wonder why these words ring hollow to me. Until our current political situation, I considered myself a relatively hopeful person. In considering it, I think that I still am – on a personal level. I am hopeful; I am grateful; I realize how blessed, just how lucky I am.

But I struggle to find hope in our political world. This year has contained one assault after another, mainly, it seems, on those most vulnerable. My almost-daily calls to our North Carolina senators and representatives (I have their numbers on speed-dial), answered by voice-mail or by increasingly snide, young, self-satisfied staffers, have had no impact. The Republican Congress continues to support their leader in ever-increasing egregious paths. The rifts in our country, urban vs. rural, religious vs. secular, Fox News vs. CNN, seem to be widening, each side secure in their belief that right is on their side. Everyone has a side, including me.

Someone wrote that the best thing about 2017 is that we survived it. And I do take solace in that. This time last January I wasn’t so sure. Yes, we’ve survived, but we’ll never be the same.

http://www.cynthiastrauff.com

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On Lemon Tree Blossoms and Hope

Lemon tree flowers

On Lemon Tree Blossoms and Hope —

My lemon tree is safely ensconced on my deck; squirrels and chipmunks scampering around, but not onto, it. I am hopeful.

Yes, I’m hopeful on several fronts – working hard to be.  Hopeful that the critters will allow those six blossoms to have a chance to become actual lemons this year. Last year they left only one – which, of course, I treasured and coddled like it was – well, my first home-grown lemon.

Hopeful that I’ll have a season of lemons, and will be able to inhale with wild abandon that subtle, sweet smell that doesn’t come from furniture polish.

Hopeful that another spring and summer will bring a sense of serenity and accomplishment as I savor days of writing, reading, and thinking.

Hopeful that our political situation will find some sense of humanity, and caring, and common sense so that we can somehow bridge these wide gulfs that have come upon us.

Hopeful that the world will recognize that we are all one.

Maybe It all hinges on a lemon tree. To allow us to step, to think, to hope beyond ourselves.

http://www.cynthiastrauff.com

I Wish I Could Paint

watercolor poppies

I Wish I Could Paint

When I can’t find words, when our country can’t find words, to express our feelings on this past week, I wish I could paint. I wish I could put together pinks, and blues, and greens in cloudlike forms, wispy traces of white, something, anything that could help us see hope.

Hope seems to be in short supply these days. Killings just one more item before turning the page, changing the channel, though this week seemed worse than most, at least since Sandy Hook, or Columbine, or….  And who can remember the murders just last month?

When President Obama, at his Saturday press conference, was asked about gun control, he sighed. And that sigh said it all, for all of us. We can write on Facebook; we can Twitter #enough, yet in the end we sigh.

And I wish I could paint.

www.cynthiastrauff.com, Another Sunday